Smallmouth Bass

General Informatiom:

"Inch for inch and pound for pound the gamest fish that swims." Enthusiastic comments like this entered in the journals of the 19th and early 20th century paid tribute to this scrappy, well-proportioned fish. Because of these qualities and their relatively small numbers, Lake Michigan smallmouth bass are reserved exclusively for sport fishing.

During spring and summer, they concentrate in shallow bays and on reefs in upper Green Bay and off the Door County peninsula. Essentially a nonmigrating fish, they retreat to pools, undercut banks or fairly deep water to avoid bright daylight. They are most active in early morning and evening. During winter, they gather near the bottom and feed little until spring and water temperatures rise to about 47 degrees F.

Many consider the flavor and texture of smallmouth bass superior to all Great Lakes fish except the whitefish. The low fat content of its flesh makes it easy to freeze for later consumption. If the lake's waters remain clean, these plucky game fish will undoubtedly continue to be a favorite attraction in some areas of the upper Great Lakes.

Copyright, 1998, by the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
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